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Matt Brandon

A technical perspective

Posted from:Angostura
The altitude has been a shock but the source of the Amazon was amazing - water just spewing out of this wall. The mountains are covered with snow and the landscape here is totally epic. It's been really, really tough and it's very cold, so technical things like keeping batteries charged is a problem.

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Bruce Parry

Sacrifice and blessing

Posted from:: Journey to Angostura
The last couple of days we've been staying with Rodolfo and his family in their ridge-top estancia near the source of the Amazon. Rodolfo is a strong, paternal figure and for me he epitomises the mixture of pride, kindness and toughness that is characteristic of the Quechua. His daughter is away at university, which takes a huge chunk of the family income, but the whole village is proud of her.

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Ten llamas and a Donkey

Posted from: On the way to Angostura.
We have just started the trek from the source to Angostura with the llamas. It's a two-day walk, we have 10 llamas and a donkey, and it's been raining - a lot. Right now it's snowing, and it's miserable but the filming has gone really well because it's so beautiful here, and the footage will show this incredible place. We filmed the opening at the source rather than the glacier. It's just a trickle of water on the rock face and I still can't believe how this becomes such a huge sea of water.

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Matt Brandon

A difficult story to tell

Posted from:Journey to Angostura
It's cold and snowing and today we're setting off on the arduous trek to Angostura. Everyone is pretty tired, a combination of hard work, altitude and waking up at 3am freezing in the tent. The absolute last thing I wanted to do this morning was get out of my sleeping bag and I don't think I was the only one.

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Zubin Sarosh

Ceremony at the Source

Posted from:Mismi Base Camp
After our acclimatization walks the whole team went on another walk two days ago - slightly easier this time - to head for the source. The landscape on the way up was quite amazing - almost lunar - and definitely had the feel that not many people had been up to this place, as if people were not meant to be there.

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Matt Brandon

Mutiny on the Mismi

Posted from:Base camp Mismi
David - our guide and translator for this section - took the opportunity to make an emotional offering to the mountain at the source and invited us all to join in. All of us found it equally moving and we each took three coca leaves and prayed to the Apus before making a request and then placing the leaves into the first waters of the Amazon.

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Matt Norman

The secret weapon

Posted from:Mismi
After a couple of days walking and acclimatizing we got to the source yesterday. After reaching 5,200 metres we filmed our first shots of Bruce walking through the dramatic high Andes landscape and describing the start of his journey.

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Bruce Parry

First shots of the biggest river in the world

Posted from: The Source
We have started! Yesterday we had our first filming day at the source, which is incredibly beautiful. The mountains seem like cardboard cut-outs against a brilliant blue sky and we've been taking some lovely shots. It's been a real reminder to me of how brilliant this team is. Matt Norman, the cameraman, has an extraordinary eye for a good picture and I'm loving my first trip with Zubin, who has a contagious sense of fun.

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Matt Brandon

The Big Opening

Posted from:The Source
Last time I blogged Almu and I were on our way to an Alpaca Shaving competition. The competition was in the beautiful and very rundown town of Ran Ran. Many people were dressed in traditional Andean outfits, and there were obviously a lot of alpacas around. The shaving competition was saved until the end of the day, and despite chewing lots of coca to combat the altitude we both felt less than good. Almu was soon dressed in traditional clothes and, not wanting me to be left out, someone soon found a spare poncho and hat for me to put on.

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Zubin Sarosh

Altitude Sickness

Posted from: Mismi
We've got to the source of the Amazon on the Mismi Mountain and we're filming the opening scene of the series. Yesterday Bruce, Matt N, John (fixer) and I went on an acclimatization walk, which involved lugging a load of kit up endless false peaks until we reached about 4800 metres (a bit below the height at the source which is 5200m).

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Matt Norman

Arrival in base camp

Posted from:Base camp Mismi
Yesterday our three-vehicle convoy drove higher and higher up into the Andes towards Mount Mismi in search of the source of the Amazon. On route we stopped in a tiny town to refuel and while waiting, Zubin, Matt B, Luis (our driver) and I played football with two small lads of no more than 10 years in age.

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Llama Drama

Posted from: The Source
I have to wake up at 3am tomorrow to try to find some llamas to carry Bruce's stuff. I thought that would be easy in llama country but apparently people use them less and less to carry things and they are not trained anymore so they are unwilling to be loaded. I've heard of a place where there was recently a contest of loading llamas in a record time so I'm hoping the people there will point me towards the champion llamas. If not Bruce will have to train one!

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